Link to Problems for Discussion

Plant dermatitis


Numerous plants may cause minor contact or phytophotodermatitis. Serious reactions suggest a severe allergic response involving hapten formation with plant antigens.
The following plants are often implicated
  • Rhus (Toxicodendron succedanum)
  • Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
  • Mango
  • Cashew tree

The major complications are secondary infection and subsequent nephritis.

Treatment comprises local & systemic steroids and symptomatic treatment with antihistamines and bathing, calamine lotion etc.

Hyposensitisation is ineffective.

Plant dermatitis can result from skin exposure to Scarlet Rhus (Toxicodendron succedanum), Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), Mango (Mangifera indica), the Broad-leaf Pepper Tree (Schinus terebinthifolia) and the Cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale). Toxic effects may range from erythema and pruritus to blistering and ulceration.